October 22nd

Abbas and Olmert to meet October 27, say Palestinian officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
October 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet on October 27, possibly for the last time, to push forward with peace talks, Palestinian officials said on Monday. Olmert is serving as caretaker premier since he quit on Sept. 21 and his ruling Kadima party elected Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as his successor. "President Abbas and Olmert plan to meet on October 27, maybe for the last time before Olmert leaves office," a senior Abbas aide told reporters. Israeli officials were not available for immediate reaction.

Building peace through health in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Cesar Chelala - October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

For over two decades, international health organizations have offered their services to people in regional conflicts throughout the world. While health initiatives alone have not and cannot achieve peace, especially where political, cultural or religious tensions might abound, they often serve as the last point of contact between conflicting parties.

Abbas replaces intelligence chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has fired his intelligence chief, amid reports that Hamas, the Palestinian faction that runs the Gaza Strip, had demanded he be replaced. The move sparked tensions within Abbas's Fatah faction, an unnamed Palestinian official was reported as saying by The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Faisal welcomes new interest in Saudi plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said on Tuesday he hoped that Israel's next government would follow the lead of President Shimon Peres, who last month called for a revival of Arab-Israeli peace initiatives. Peres, speaking at the United Nations, called on Saudi King Abdullah to "further" a dormant land-for-peace plan endorsed by the Arab League six years ago, and said Israel would attend any venue to end the conflict with its Arab neighbors. The Saudi minister told a news conference in Riyadh that the interest in the plan voiced by the president was "better late than never".

Israeli, Egyptian leaders to meet on Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israeli President Shimon Peres will discuss an Arab proposal for comprehensive Mideast peace when he meets with Egypt's leader this week, Peres' office said Wednesday. Peres has been promoting the Saudi initiative recently because Israel's separate peace talks with Syria and the Palestinians appear to be making little progress. Peres spokeswoman Ayelet Frisch confirmed the Arab peace plan would "come up" when he meets President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt on Thursday.

Hamas backs Egypt's plan for thaw with Fatah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Hamas gave its tentative support Tuesday to an Egyptian plan to reconcile the Islamist movement and the rival Fatah faction of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas amid a looming constitutional crisis. "We will agree to the draft of the agreement and will not reject it," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP, but he added that the plan would require some "modification" before it could be implemented. "The draft contains positive elements, but also has some points that need modification and some points that need clarification from the Egyptian leadership," he said.

Israel shuts Gaza crossings after rocket attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israel temporarily closed its border crossings with the Gaza Strip Wednesday after militants from the Hamas-controlled territory fired a rocket into southern Israel. "After a rocket was fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip yesterday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Gaza crossings to be closed starting Wednesday morning," a defense ministry official said. The official did not say how long the crossings would remain shut. Gaza militants fired the rocket Tuesday, the first in more than six weeks, causing no damage or injuries, Israeli police said.

Palestinians welcome Israeli interest in Saudi plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

Palestinians hope Israeli calls for the revival of a Saudi peace initiative could lead to progress on a diplomatic track that has been dormant for years, their chief negotiator with Israel said Wednesday. Israeli President Shimon Peres last month called on Saudi King Abdullah to "further" a land-for-peace proposal endorsed six years ago by the Arab League, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last week Israelis were reconsidering the plan.

Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, near unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Carolynne Wheeler - October 21, 2008 - 8:00pm

This new proposal, drafted by Egypt, has raised hopes of a settlement of the internal Palestinian conflict which began with Hamas's victory in the elections of 2006. A four-page plan proposes that Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader, joins Hamas in a "consensus government".

October 21st

NYU poll: Two-thirds of US Jews back Obama over McCain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

A new poll commissioned by researchers at New York University reveals that American Jews favor Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama over his Republic rival, John McCain, by a 67 - 33 percent margin. The survey, which sampled the opinions of over 3,000 respondents - half of them being Jewish - also found that Jews as an ethnic group will support Obama by almost 30 percent more than other white, non-Hispanic voters.

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